Menstruation is a natural, normal biological process experienced by all adolescent girls and women, yet it is not spoken about openly causing unnecessary embarrassment and shame. India’s 113 million adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable at the onset of menarche. At this time they need a safe environment that offers protection and guidance to ensure their basic health, well-being and educational opportunity is realised.
Yet a recent survey found that in 14,724 government schools only 53% had a separate and usable girl’s toilet. At home the situation also need to improve as 132 million households do not have a toilet (2015), leaving adolescent girls and women to face the indignity of open defecation. However, safe and effective menstrual hygiene management, or ‘MHM’ is a trigger for better and stronger development for adolescent girls and women.